China’s 99-year lease in the Port of Darwin should NOT be scrapped despite national security concerns
China’s 99-year lease in Darwin port should NOT be scrapped despite national security concerns and mounting tensions between Canberra and Beijing
- Scott Morrison insists the government will not be too quick to draw conclusions about China’s rent
- It will reassess the national security implications of Landbridge port assets
- Tensions remain high between Australia and China, relationship in the doldrums
Scott Morrison insists the government will not jump to conclusions as the Ministry of Defense assesses the 99-lease contract of the port of Darwin by a Chinese company.
With Canberra-Beijing relations in the doldrums, the government has announced that it will reassess the national security implications of Landbridge’s state-owned lease.
The prime minister said he would not prejudge any new advice on the port.
Scott Morrison insists government will not rush to conclusions as Defense assesses Chinese company’s 99 lease of the port of Darwin
“I’m not jumping to the next step,” he told the Seven Network on Tuesday.
“This is a matter for our security and defense agencies to advise if there has been any change in the security status of those port regulations.”
Mr Morrison said Darwin harbor is a name for a specific part of the area rather than the entire harbor.
‘It’s a section. It’s not where our military and defense facilities are, that’s in a different area, ”he said.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne chided China for negotiating deals with developing countries that might saddle countries with debt as part of the Belt and Road initiative.
“We’re not trying to buy influence to benefit our individual countries,” she wrote in an op-ed in The Australian.
“We know earlier that a stable, safe neighborhood of sovereign states, in which we have trusted and trusted networks, are good, safe places for our people to live and thrive.”
Senator Payne said Australia’s focus was on solving practical problems to create regional and global stability.
With Canberra-Beijing relations in the doldrums, the government has announced that it will reassess the national security implications of the Landbridge lease.
‘Not because we expect targeted influence in individual countries, which we take like notches on our belt.’
Tensions between Australia and China remain high, with the troubled relationship leading to trade strikes from Beijing.
China labeled Interior Chief Mike Pezzullo a troublemaker after warning last week “the war drums are knocking” and addressing the prospect of armed conflict.
Major General Adam Findlay reportedly delivered a confidential briefing to Australian Special Forces soldiers last year and warned of a high risk of conflict.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, General Findlay identified China as the main regional threat and said Beijing was already engaged in warfare in the ‘gray zone’ against Australia.
Defense Minister Peter Dutton said last month that a war over Taiwan cannot be ignored.
China has accused Australia of interfering in its affairs for criticizing horrific human rights violations against Muslims in Xinjiang and reacted angrily to the banning of telecommunications giant Huawei from the 5G network.
Mr Morrison said Darwin harbor is a name for a specific part of the area rather than the entire harbor